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The Madman of Freedom Square

by Hassan Blasim

Fantastical and macabre tales set in Iraq or following exiles as they attempt to build a new life. Inevitable violence and sexual references assault the reader, but nevertheless, there is a weird kind of humour that enables these disturbing stories to be read and even enjoyed.

Extract

The last thing he saw was the leaden sky thick with cloud and three birds hovering high. Then the truck bomb parked near the market exploded, like a giant volcano.
They say his body was ripped in three. The legs and trunk were in one place, one arm was in a pile of blackened tomatoes, and his head, part of his shoulder and his right arm were close to the man selling jeans who, because of the storm of fire and iron, turned into a small monkey drawn in charcoal with no features.
Translated by Jonathan Wright

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